Beware: If you do not like messes, quit reading now.
I don't mind messes too much. Crafting with the girls is okay and I expect there to be HUGE messes.
Brian just stays away, messy isn't his kind of thing.
I had seen online lots of tutorials about painting pumpkins, which for this stage in life seemed much more doable than carving them. The pumpkins were pricey at the grocery store so I bought about 8 little different squash and let the girls go crazy on them.